By Erica Metzger; Styled by Carla Engler
When your skin has a split personality, you get two different skin reactions in winter. For instance, your temples and cheeks, which are already on the normal to dry side, can become even more dehydrated, while the oily T-zone can get flaky, especially around the nose. Also, it's not uncommon for combination skin to become less tolerant of the acne treatments that you're so reliant on, making the goal of a balanced complexion -- which Dr. Levine defines as smooth with no shiny or overly dry areas -- quite a skin challenge.
Hydration Rx for Combination Skin
Cleanse: Using a gentle pH-balanced cleanser will preserve your skin's protective layer of sweat and sebum. Gentle exfoliation is also important to keep T-zone pores clean and remove dry patches and flakes.
Moisturize: "Don't put moisturizer where you don't need it," advises Dr. Bank. Instead, use a richer product on the drier areas and a lightweight lotion along the T-zone. While this extra step might take a bit more time, it will keep combination skin clear and happy.
Treat: At night, apply an oil-free moisturizer all over your face, avoiding the T-zone. Follow up with an acne treatment, such as one containing 2 percent salicylic acid, over your breakout-prone areas.
Extra: If you love using toner to tighten up the pores in your T-zone, make sure you use an alcohol-free formula with moisturizing ingredients that won't dry out your skin.